South Island: Travel Tips

Every day in the South Island presents an opportunity to experience something new. Thrill seekers will delight in a jaunt by jet boat, and nature lovers will marvel at the many waterfalls of Mitre Peak. Everyone will enjoy the island’s wineries, spas, fishing, sailing, and guided walks.

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Getting To South Island

With year round temperate whether, New Zealand can be hot during the summer (December to February). With the rainfall at its heaviest in January and February. Ski season runs from June to October on New Zealand’s South Island.

Flight Times

  • 1 hour and 20 minutes from Auckland

Staying In South Island

Known as the adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown attracts thrill seekers with an array of activities such as jet boating, bungee jumping, and skydiving. Visitors seeking a more relaxed vacation will find nature walks, wine tours, and gourmet restaurants. On the east coast of the South Island, Christchurch is a charming city with Victorian architecture, lush parks, and a lively entertainment scene.

Must-see sights

  • The many waterfalls of Mitre Peak
  • The city of Christchurch

Things to do

  • Fishing, sailing,skydiving, and bungee jumping.
  • Delight in a jaunt by jet boat
  • Savor nature walks, wine tours, and gourmet restaurants.
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Traveling In South Island

Classic Vacations can arrange convenient transportation options to make your New Zealand vacation more enjoyable. Transfers to hotels from the airport are available. Island resorts are accessible by boat, helicopter, and seaplane, and in many locations, getting there – whether by four-wheel-drive vehicle, train, or guided tour – is part of the excitement.

Things to Know

Entry Requirements

  • Every visitor must have a current passport for entry, valid for six months beyond the date of return.
  • A return airline ticket to the country of residence or to another destination.
  • It is the traveler’s responsibility to obtain the proper documents.


The official currency is the New Zealand dollar.

  • Although credit cards and ATMs are readily available it is a good idea to exchange some money for smaller purchases.
  • Visitors can exchange money at the airport upon arrival.
  • Exchange rates vary by economic seasonality.
  • Commonly accepted credit cards are American Express, Bankcard, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, MasterCard, and Visa.

Time Difference

  • New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere and is located across the international date line.
  • New Zealand is 17 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

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